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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Ground cover (Crimson Clover)- Inoculate first I22gcj10Ground cover (Crimson Clover)- Inoculate first 14dhcg10

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Ground cover (Crimson Clover)- Inoculate first

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genes
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AprilakaCCIL
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Post  AprilakaCCIL 8/25/2011, 4:49 pm

Clover should be inoculated first with the appropriate bacteria to aid in germination.

Anyone know what inoculated first means?? Embarassed -->inoculate with rhizobium bacteria.

Have you've ever heard of and/or used rhizobium bacteria?

Ordered me some crimson clovers from here:

http://www.cherrygal.com/covercropcrimsoncloverheirloomseeds2011-p-14788.html

You can read up about this great ground cover here as well:

http://georgiafaces.caes.uga.edu/index.cfm?public=viewStory&PK_ID=3892
AprilakaCCIL
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Post  boffer 8/25/2011, 5:09 pm

If you're planning on a cover crop for your SFG boxes, you might want to consider the points made in this thread.

Still row gardening? Too much work!
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Post  AprilakaCCIL 8/25/2011, 5:18 pm

Nope NO row gardening done here. I wanted to fix the nitrogen level in one of my tomato beds for next Spring. The bed will be for of course of another vegetable family.

So far the clover will do great with peas or beans grown together. Sounds good to me as I can get some Legumes in the process.

Here is more good reading:

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/2429/

&

http://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/nitrogen-fixing-bacteria.html

I'm in a hurry--kids want to go to Dairy Queen. No veggies tonight. Laughing
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Post  littlejo 8/25/2011, 8:41 pm

Growing the clover ahead of the toms. will help put nitrogen in the soil for the toms, but, the peas and beans do not need the nitrogen, in fact, they will not do good with too much! You can 'inoculate' the pea and bean seeds and they will 'fix' nitrogen, so more will be available for the next crop. I plan on planting peas(snap and snow) in all my beds, if poss. to add some extra nitro to my beds. Jo
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Post  AprilakaCCIL 8/25/2011, 8:52 pm

@littlejo wrote:Growing the clover ahead of the toms. will help put nitrogen in the soil for the toms, but, the peas and beans do not need the nitrogen, in fact, they will not do good with too much! You can 'inoculate' the pea and bean seeds and they will 'fix' nitrogen, so more will be available for the next crop. I plan on planting peas(snap and snow) in all my beds, if poss. to add some extra nitro to my beds. Jo

That's what I was trying to figure out. The article I was reading suggest "inoculated first" before growing the clover ground cover. I guess the clover needs nitrogen to get a head start. My plan is to grow the clover and the peas and/or bean together in the bed, which was the tomato bed 4 this year.

Hopefully this will jump start the bed for spring usage. I'm going to research more tonight to get a better understanding dealing with the inoculate first before planting the clover--> Looks like I might be able to spread a powder of some sort (dunno).
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Post  braim5 8/25/2011, 9:09 pm

I planted a cover crop or annual ryegrass, crimson clover, and hairy vetch last year in my regular garden. I tilled it all under in the spring. The crimson clover seed that I purchased from my local feedstore in bulk was already innoculated. It seemed to do well.
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Post  littlejo 8/25/2011, 9:43 pm

My innoculate is called 'Royal Peat' , by Becker Underwood, inc. I got it at the farm store. It's a powder, which you just dust the seeds with, before planting(legume seeds) the innocutite is some sort of bacteria that lets the legume grab the nitrogen in the air and put it in the ground. At least that is what I understood.

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Post  camprn 8/25/2011, 10:25 pm

@boffer wrote:If you're planning on a cover crop for your SFG boxes, you might want to consider the points made in this thread.
+1

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Post  genes 8/25/2011, 10:41 pm

@braim5 wrote:...I tilled it all under in the spring...
I cant wait to see the rototiler that fits between grids!

Please I can't find in the book where cover crops are n ecesary for sfg.
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Post  AprilakaCCIL 8/25/2011, 11:33 pm

genes it's not necessary.

As for the clover and for beans/peas, according to the seed package, it requires the inoculate treatment prior to planting in your garden.

--You still need to follow the seed package, as it has more details in what you need to do to help your vegetable reach it's full yield potential.

Here is where I purchased the inoculate for my clover ground cover:

http://www.seedsofchange.com/garden_center/product_details.aspx?item_no=154000

Note: Some seeds have already been inoculated, if not mentioned on the package you can always call to find out.

Note 2: This is not a MM bed I'm correcting. It's my first bed I made in the Spring for the tomato plants before I got started with SFG/MM

And this is why I need to correct some things. According to my soil test done for each of my MM beds...all is great...no adjustments needed.
It's the non-MM bed that has issues.


Last edited by AprilakaCCIL on 8/25/2011, 11:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  genes 8/25/2011, 11:45 pm

if the clove r cover crop isnt neccesary, why use it? Am I misunderstooding? Clover isnt a cover crop? One of your sources say that innoculants may or may not work. Why is that? This is confussing fo r sfg. Im a beginner just trying to learn.
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Post  AprilakaCCIL 8/25/2011, 11:56 pm

@genes wrote:if the clove r cover crop isnt neccesary, why use it? Am I misunderstooding? Clover isnt a cover crop? One of your sources say that innoculants may or may not work. Why is that? This is confussing fo r sfg. Im a beginner just trying to learn.

genes,

It's not being done in my sfg area that has Mel's suggested mixture added to them. It's my very first bed this year & before SFG w/MM.

I only need nitrogen according to the soil test for my first bed that was used for my tomato plants. Going to correct this nitrogen problem and then add other stuff to convert it to a nice MM bed. Very Happy
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Post  genes 8/26/2011, 12:14 am

oh I think. Youre not talking about sfg? Sorry i didn't understand.

One think I understand is that we dont convert existing beds to sfg. MM has no soil in it. Is this correct?
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Post  AprilakaCCIL 8/26/2011, 12:19 am

@genes wrote:oh I think. Youre not talking about sfg? Sorry i didn't understand.

One think I understand is that we dont convert existing beds to sfg. MM has no soil in it. Is this correct?

As long as it does not have soil in the bed, which mine does not, then you can convert ( I Am).
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Post  genes 8/26/2011, 12:22 am

Im totally confused so goodnight then.
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Post  AprilakaCCIL 8/26/2011, 12:31 am

@genes wrote:Im totally confused so goodnight then.

I completely understand and I would be confused too if I was you.

I'm only doing this entirely backwards for this one bed -->backtracking to correct it.

You don't have to use a cover crop, not part of making the MM.

But a few things I want to experiment with and this is being one of them.
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Post  shannon1 8/26/2011, 1:55 am

Different legums require different inoculents I had to buy a special one for my soy beans. Grew some with and some without. The inoculated beans did much better. I was excited to see the title of your thread as I thought you were giving up a grass lawn. I hate grass:twisted:. Good luck with the clover, I'm sure it will help. The bees love the flowers too.
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Post  braim5 8/26/2011, 6:43 am

@genes wrote:
@braim5 wrote:...I tilled it all under in the spring...
I cant wait to see the rototiler that fits between grids!

Please I can't find in the book where cover crops are n ecesary for sfg.



I did not plant in SFG last year. It was in an "old fashioned" row garden. This fall is my first attempt at SFG'ing and I'm not planning on planting a cover crop. I was just sharing my experience the one time that I did. Ground cover (Crimson Clover)- Inoculate first 601593
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Post  boffer 8/26/2011, 11:11 am

Hopefully this thread will be less confusing now that it's been moved to the "Non-SFG Gardening" Forum.
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Post  Chopper 8/27/2011, 2:52 am

@AprilakaCCIL wrote:

You don't have to use a cover crop, not part of making the MM.

But a few things I want to experiment with and this is being one of them.

My thought: Save it for another experiment. Not only is a cover crop not part of SFG, it is a pain the the a** in the confines of a box with or without grids and adds nothing that compost, peat and vermiculite do not. And did I mention it is a pain in the a**? Counterproductive.
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Post  middlemamma 8/27/2011, 2:00 pm

@shannon1 wrote: I was excited to see the title of your thread as I thought you were giving up a grass lawn. I hate grass:twisted:.

Shannon if someone was going to replace grass...I have grass/weeds that look like grass....and would consider a cover crop replacement...what would be a good cover crop for like the fammily area where we play games and eat at the picnic table etc... ???
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Post  shannon1 8/28/2011, 1:18 am

I'm so glad you are thinking of planting a ground cover in place of a lawn. My mom always said we had well kept weeds.Ground cover (Crimson Clover)- Inoculate first 889526 The plant best suited for the area you asked about would have to take were and tare well. You sort have got two choices first you can look at what's growing there now and choose a native plant by removing the other plants and giving the one you like an advantage. I like this because you already know it likes the current conditions, sunlight, soil, and rainfall. It does take more time to establish. You can speed this process by dividing it and planting in new areas where it is not currently growing. Second you can contact the your county extenction office to see what grows best where you live. I have found greek oregino, and elfin tyme both make great ground covers here. Our Ag. center also recomends several mint varieties.
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Post  trukrebew 8/28/2011, 3:03 am

I wish someone had given me that advice 3 years ago when I seeded a new lawn with 90% clover and 10% grass. It took a long time for the clover to fill out, but once it did, it looked great! I thought for sure that I was going to have a lush, dense, low-maintainance lawn every summer.

Well, the next two summers were awful. The clover all but disappeared by receding into the ground during the winter. We saw nothing but dirt when spring came. So I reseeded with more clover. This time, the 10% grass from the previous year had started to spread into the bare areas. After keeping the kids off the lawn for 4 weeks for the second year in a row, the clover had mostly caught up to the grass and I had a 'decent' lawn.

Another winter with clover that vanished and another spring with lots of dirt and mud for a yard. I just couldn't bare closing the yard from the kids this way each year to wait for the clover to fill out. So I did reseed the bare spots of the lawn again, but only with grass seed. The yard is now a funky patchwork of multiple grasses (mostly crab!), some clover, and dirt spots. What a mess.

I really wish I had known that the white clover would not be able to sustain the entire lawn by itself in my climate. I should have just taken a look at my neighbor's yard for stuff to grow. She never cuts her lawn and because it never really gets tall enough!
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